Transcript: Annamie Paul: Vying to Lead the Federal Greens | May 21, 2020

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew and one of Walter Kronkite. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a white shirt and a spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Vying to lead the Federal Greens. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says AT THE END OF APRIL, FORMER ONTARIO LIBERAL CABINET MINISTER GLEN MURRAY SHOOK UP THE RACE TO SUCCEED ELIZABETH MAY BY ANNOUNCING HIS RUN FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA. AND SO WE INTERVIEWED HIM ON THE AGENDA. IT THEN OCCURRED TO US THAT, TO BE FAIR, WE REALLY SHOULD HAVE THE OTHER LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE WITH AN ONTARIO CONNECTION ON THE PROGRAM. AND WITH THAT, WE INTRODUCE ANNAMIE PAUL, WHO RAN IN THE LAST FEDERAL ELECTION IN THE RIDING OF TORONTO CENTRE.

Annamie is in her thirties, shaven-headed. She's wearing a gray sweater and a white shirt.

Steve continues Annamie, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON TVO, I THINK ON "THE AGENDA" FOR THE FIRST TIME. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Annamie says THE FIRST TIME BUT NOT THE LAST TIME, RIGHT, STEVE?

Steve says I THINK THAT'S UP TO YOU, ACTUALLY.

Annamie says IT'S A REAL PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU TODAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INVITATION.

Steve says THANKS FOR SAYING SO. LET'S JUST START WITH YOUR NAME. I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY ELSE WITH THAT FIRST NAME, A-N-N-A-M-I-E. WHAT'S THE STORY THERE?

Annamie says AND TO BE HONEST, I REALLY RESIST PEOPLE TRUNCATING IT OR SHORTENING IT, IT'S ANNAMIE. IT'S A PATOIS NAME. SO IT FRIENDS "A FRIEND, AN AMIE.

Steve says YOU'RE BORN AND RAISED IN TORONTO, RIGHT?

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT, THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says SIBLINGS?

Annamie says I HAVE THREE SIBLINGS. THREE SIBLINGS. TWO GIRLS, TWO BOYS. ALL BORN IN OLYMPIC YEARS.

Steve says WELL, THAT WAS QUITE A COINCIDENCE. DID YOU EVER GET TO PARTICIPATE IN AN OLYMPIC GAMES?

Annamie says I DID NOT... IN MY HEART, STEVE. IN MY HEART, YES.

Steve says GOTCHA. YOU'VE GOT SOME UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER; YES?

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT. I HAVE MY LAW DEGREE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, MY BACHELOR OF LAWS; AND I HAVE MY MASTERS DEGREE IN PUBLIC AFFAIRS FROM PRINCETON, UNIVERSITY.

Steve says WHAT GOT YOU ACTIVE IN GREEN PARTY POLITICS?

The caption changes to "Annamie Paul. Green Party Leadership Candidate. @AnnamiePaul."

Annamie says JUST MY LONGSTANDING CONCERN FOR THE ISSUES OF THE DAY, REALLY. I TRAINED AS A POLICY ANALYST. I DID BOTH OF THOSE DEGREES EXACTLY BECAUSE I ALWAYS KNEW I WANTED TO BE INVOLVED IN PUBLIC POLICY, AND AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, WITH THESE UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGES, IT WAS REALLY CLEAR TO ME THAT THE GREEN PARTY WAS AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF THOSE SOLUTIONS AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A PART OF THAT. I WASN'T ALWAYS ABLE TO BE INVOLVED IN PARTISAN WORK BECAUSE OF MY BACKGROUND AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE, AND SO AS SOON AS I WAS ABLE TO, I JOINED THE GREEN PARTY. IT WAS REALLY CLEAR TO ME THAT IT WAS THE ONLY OPTION FOR SOMEONE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING PROFOUND CHANGE.

Steve says LET'S TALK A BIT ABOUT THAT BACKGROUND, BECAUSE YOU DO HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE BACKGROUND, INCLUDING A FEW YEARS WORKING IN BELGIUM FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION. WHAT DID YOU DO THERE?

Annamie says I WORKED... MY FIRST ROLE IN EUROPE WAS WORKING FOR THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, IN FACT. I WORKED IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS. I WAS IN THE POLITICAL DEPARTMENT, AND I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR VARIOUS PORTFOLIOS: DEVELOPMENT, RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS, CONFLICT PREVENTION. AND I WAS THE MAIN CONTACT FOR MY E.U. COUNTERPARTS ON THOSE PORTFOLIOS. AND I'VE BEEN LUCKY. I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO DO A MIX OF WORK FOR GOVERNMENT, MULTILATERALS, AND ALSO ON THE CIVIL SOCIETY SIDE... ALL OF IT REALLY FOCUSED AROUND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

Steve says I'M GUESSING IF YOU LIVED IN BELGIUM.

[Speaking in French]
[SPEAKING IN FRENCH]

Steve says OKAY, I'M SOLD, I'M SOLD. YOUR FRENCH IS WAY BETTER THAN MINE. OKAY. ENOUGH.

Annamie (LAUGHS).

Steve says TELL ME THIS: THERE'S SOMETHING CALLED THE CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP. WHAT IS THAT?

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT. THE CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP WAS AN INSTITUTE THAT I FOUNDED AND I RECEIVED A FELLOWSHIP FROM AN AMERICAN FOUNDATION TO FOUND DIRECTLY AFTER MY GRADUATE STUDIES AT PRINCETON. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE ISSUE OF UNDERREPRESENTATION OF MARGINALIZED GROUPS IN CANADIAN POLITICS, FOR MORE THAN ANY REASON BECAUSE IT REALLY IS A WASTE OF THE INCREDIBLE TALENT THAT WE HAVE. AND WE KNOW FROM YEARS AND YEARS OF STUDIES THAT DIVERSITY IN POLITICS MAKES A MEASURABLE, QUANTIFIABLE DIFFERENCE AND QUALITY OF DIFFERENCE IN POLICY OUTCOMES. SO I FOUNDED THE FIRST CENTRE OF ITS KIND IN CANADA AFTER MY STUDIES, AND WE DID TRAINING, WE COLLABORATED WITH ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. I'M VERY PROUD THAT SOME OF THE GRADUATES OF SOME OF OUR TRAINING PROGRAMS, FOR INSTANCE, ARE NOW SERVING MEMBERS OF THEIR COMMUNITY AS ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES.

Steve says YOU DID RUN LAST YEAR IN THE FEDERAL ELECTION AND YOU RAN IN TORONTO CENTRE.

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says THAT'S A PRETTY TALL ORDER BECAUSE YOU RAN AGAINST BILL MORNEAU, WHO IS THE FINANCE MINISTER.

Annamie says A LITTLE CHALLENGING.

Steve says A LITTLE CHALLENGING, YES. I LOOKED IT UP. YOU MOVED THE VOTE FROM 2 percent TO 7 percent WHICH WAS THE SECOND BEST RESULT IN THE WHOLE TORONTO AREA.

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says HAVING NOW PUT YOUR NAME ON THE BALLOT, WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT RUNNING FOR POLITICAL OFFICE?

Annamie says I'M GOING TO GIVE THE FLIP ANSWER FIRST WHICH IS TO SAY: WEAR GOOD FRIENDS. THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. BECAUSE YOU REALLY SPEND A LOT OF TIME OUT. IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT RUNNING AND IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT CONNECTING WITH YOUR CONSTITUENTS, THEN YOU SPEND ALL OF YOUR DAYS OUTSIDE. YOU SPEND ALL OF YOUR DAYS IN THE COMMUNITY. YOU REALLY HAVE TO KNOW THE REASON WHY YOU'RE DOING IT, I WOULD SAY, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING FOR OFFICE OR WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF A PARTY, YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT YOUR OBJECTIVES. IN MY CASE, IT REALLY WAS ABOUT TRYING TO CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO REALLY SOLVING THESE UNPRECEDENTED ISSUES THAT WE'RE FACING.

Steve says WELL, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO BE A FLY ON THE WALL AT YOUR FAMILY THANKSGIVING DINNERS BECAUSE YOU TOLD US YOU ARE ONE OF FOUR SIBLINGS. AND I GATHER ONE OF YOUR BROTHERS IS A LAID OFF OILSANDS WORKER FROM WESTERN CANADA.

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says WHO HAS LOST HIS JOB.

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says AND HERE YOU ARE RUNNING FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GREEN PARTY WHICH, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, WOULD LOVE TO SHUT DOWN THE OILSANDS. CAN YOU TELL ME HOW YOU TWO ACTUALLY RESOLVE THIS ISSUE?

Annamie says WE RESOLVE IT QUITE WELL. MY BROTHER IS OUT, HE'S FAR AWAY FROM HIS FAMILY, HIS FAMILY IS STILL HERE IN TORONTO, BECAUSE THE BEST PAYING WORK THAT WAS ON OFFER FOR HIM WAS IN THE OILSANDS, IN THE OIL PATCH, RATHER, AND SO, YES, HE'S BEEN A ROUGHNECK OUT IN ALBERTA FOR SOME TIME. HE'S LAID OFF AT THE MOMENT, LIKE MANY OIL WORKERS ARE. AND MORE THAN ANYTHING WHAT HE'S LOOKING FOR IS A JOB WITH A FUTURE. MY BROTHER... AGAIN, WE'RE AN UNUSUAL FAMILY. HE HAS A BACHELOR'S IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES. HE'S BEEN LOOKING QUITE DILIGENTLY FOR WORK IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR, BUT OF COURSE THE SUBSIDIES GO... THEY FLOW MUCH MORE FREELY INTO THE OIL SECTOR THAN THEY DO INTO THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR, AND SO THERE'S STILL MORE JOBS THERE. YOU KNOW, WHEN I TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES RELATED TO A TRANSITION AND A JUST TRANSITION AWAY FROM OIL, IT'S VERY PERSONAL FOR ME. I WOULD NEVER SUPPORT A PARTY OR RUN TO LEAD A PARTY THAT I THOUGHT DIDN'T CARE ABOUT MY BROTHER AND HIS FUTURE.

Steve says BUT WHEN YOU SAY TO HIM, YOU KNOW, THE WORK YOU'RE DOING IS KILLING MY PLANET, AND WHEN HE SAYS TO YOU, YEAH, BUT IF YOU HAVE YOUR WAY, I'M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO FEED MY FAMILY, HOW DOES THAT ARGUMENT RESOLVE ITSELF?

Annamie says THAT'S NOT QUITE HOW THE CONVERSATION GOES, STEVE. IT'S REALLY MORE ABOUT, I HAVE THREE CHILDREN. I NEED TO FEED THEM. I WANT TO BE WITH THEM. I MISS THEM. BECAUSE HE HAS GONE MONTHS WITHOUT SEEING THEM AT A TIME. YOU KNOW, YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME CLOSE TO THE RIG WHEN YOU'RE WORKING ON ONE. AND SO WE TALK ABOUT WHAT CAN HE DO, WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP? WHERE ARE THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE FOR HIM? AND THE OTHER YOUNG MEN. AND IT REALLY IS MOSTLY YOUNG MEN WHO WORK ON THE CREW WITH HIM. THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED IN DOING SOMETHING ELSE. THAT WORK, STEVE, IT'S DIRTY WORK, IT'S EXTREMELY LOUD, IT'S VERY, VERY DANGEROUS. IF YOU OFFER THOSE WORKERS A JOB WITH A FUTURE THAT IS SAFER AND LETS THEM SEE THEIR KIDS EVERY NIGHT, THEY'LL DEFINITELY TAKE IT.

Steve says IF YOU DO GET TO BE THE SUCCESSOR TO ELIZABETH MAY AND WIN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GREEN PARTY, WHAT'S JOB ONE FOR YOU, MISSION CENTRAL, UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP?

Annamie says WELL, I'M GOING TO FRUSTRATE YOU AND FLIP THAT INTO TWO PARTS, THE EXTERNAL AND THE INTERNAL. EXTERNALLY, THE BIGGEST JOB THE GREEN PARTY HAS AT THE MOMENT AND MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS GOING TO BE TRULY DIVERSIFYING THE PARTY. IT IS, UNFORTUNATELY, THE LEAST DIVERSE OF THE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES. WE RAN THE LEAST DIVERSE SLATE OF CANDIDATES IN THE LAST ELECTION. UNTIL WE REFLECT THE TRUE DIVERSITY OF CANADA INTERNALLY, I THINK IT'S VERY HARD TO SELL THE GREEN PARTY TO CANADIANS. SO THAT WOULD BE JOB NUMBER ONE, AND IT'S ONE THAT WE'VE ALREADY STARTED. THE EXTERNAL JOB IS GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT THE COVID RECOVERY PERIOD AND HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT. HOW TO TAKE POLICIES THAT WE'VE BEEN CHAMPIONING FOR YEARS, UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, WHAT WE CALL A GUARANTEED LIVABLE INCOME, UNIVERSAL PHARMACARE, FREE TUITION FOR POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS. HOW WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THOSE ELEMENTS OF A STRONG TRANSITION AND MAKE THEM A REALITY.

Steve says YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS... I'LL TELL YOU THIS ANYWAY, BECAUSE I LOOKED THIS UP. YOU ARE THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN SINCE [indiscernible] FOR A MAJOR PARTY, IT WAS ROSEMARY BROWN. IT'S REMARKABLE IT'S BEEN THAT LONG. I DO WANT TO ASK YOU WHETHER THAT ASPECT OF YOUR STORY, HOW MUCH THAT MATTERS TO YOU?

Annamie says IT MATTERS QUITE A LOT, AND IT SHOULD MATTER TO CANADIANS BECAUSE, AS I SAID, WE KNOW FROM DECADES OF RESEARCH AND, AS I MENTIONED, THIS IS ONE OF MY AREAS OF PUBLIC POLICY SPECIALIZATION, WE KNOW THAT DIVERSE REPRESENTATION MATTERS. WE KNOW THAT IN TERMS OF ENCOURAGING NEW GENERATIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE TO VOTE, THAT SEEING THEMSELVES REFLECTED, WHETHER IT'S IN TERMS OF RACE, WHETHER IT'S IN TERMS OF GENDER IDENTITY, ET CETERA, WE KNOW THAT THOSE THINGS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS, AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT DIVERSITY YIELDS BETTER PUBLIC POLICY RESULTS. AND SO, YOU KNOW, WHENEVER WE DON'T TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THAT, WE'RE JUST SELLING OURSELVES SHORT IN A COUNTRY AS DIVERSE AS CANADA. UNLESS WE'RE SAYING THAT ALL THE QUALIFIED PEOPLE TO LEAD OUR PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, OUR WHITE MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, THEN WE CLEARLY, YOU KNOW, HAVE SOME WORK TO DO IN THAT AREA. SO IT WOULD BE SYMBOLIC AND I'M AWARE OF THAT. IT'S NOT THE ONLY REASON TO VOTE FOR ME. I'M VERY QUALIFIED FOR THE ROLE. BUT I'M VERY AWARE THAT IT WILL BE VERY MEANINGFUL TO QUITE A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND AS WELL IT SHOULD BE.

Steve says GLEN MURRAY CAN MAKE THE SAME ARGUMENT, THOUGH, RIGHT? THERE'S NEVER BEEN AN OPENLY GAY LEADER OF A MAJOR NATIONAL FEDERAL PARTY AS WELL. HE WOULD BE THE FIRST AT THAT.

Annamie says HE WOULD INDEED, IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY FROM HIS INTERVIEW, HE DID NOT THINK THAT THAT WOULD BE MOMENTOUS, BUT I WOULD SUGGEST IT WILL BE VERY MOMENTOUS FOR ALL OF THE GAY MEN WHO SEEK... OR WHO DREAM OF BEING MORE FULLY INVOLVED IN OUR PUBLIC POLICY PROCESS AND HAVE NOT SEEN THEMSELVES REFLECTED. SOMETIMES AN EVENT IS BIGGER THAN THE PERSON THAT IS THE CENTRE OF IT. I'M VERY AWARE THAT THIS WILL BE... WOULD BE AN HISTORIC EVENT FOR ME. IT WOULD BE AN HISTORIC EVENT FOR HIM. AND IT WOULD BE VERY MEANINGFUL FOR MANY PEOPLE IN CANADA.

Steve says ANNAMIE, YOU'RE NOT JUST BLACK BUT YOU'RE JEWISH AS WELL. OKAY, TELL US, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN EXACTLY?

Annamie says WELL, I CONVERTED MANY YEARS AGO. IN A COUPLE OF YEARS I WILL HAVE SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE AS A JEWISH WOMAN. MY PARTNER IS JEWISH. WE HAVE TWO CHILDREN. IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME TO RAISE THEM IN THE JEWISH FAITH. AND I ACTUALLY CONVERTED WHILE I WAS A STUDENT AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. THE RABBI THAT SUPERVISED MY CONVERSION WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE HALEL ON CAMPUS. I'VE BEEN LIVING A JEWISH LIFE FOR A LONG TIME. MY SONS ARE BAR MITZVAH VAD.

Annamie says YOU MADE TWO BAR MITZVAH VAD?

Annamie says I DID. ONE OF THEM WILL RECEIVE IN FACT HERE IN TORONTO. BUT IT WAS A PLEASURE. IT WAS A PLEASURE. WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THAT. MY HUSBAND'S FAMILY, YOU KNOW, HALF OF THE FAMILY FLED DURING THE POGRAMS AND THE OTHER HALF FLED DURING THE HOLOCAUST. BEING JEWISH AND REFLECTING THAT IDENTITY AND RAISING TWO JEWISH SONS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE.

Steve says YOU TALKED TO ME ABOUT THIS ONCE. YOU DID A BAR MITZVAH VA IN BARCELONA. HOW WAS THAT?

Annamie says IT WAS GREAT. MY SON WAS HONOURED TO BE THE FIRST JEWISH, WELL, BOY TO BECOME A MAN TO PUT ON HIS TAFILA. THAT'S THE RITUAL BINDING OF PRAYERS ON YOUR ARMS AND ON YOUR HEAD. HE DID IT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SPANISH INQUISITION IN THE HOUSE OF THE CHIEF RABBI. THAT ACTUALLY WAS IN THE ARCHIVES. IT WAS A SPECIAL MOMENT FOR BOTH OUR FAMILY AND THE COMMUNITY IN THE CATALONIA AREA.

Steve says SO THAT'S THE FIRST SINCE THE YEAR 1492?

Annamie says THAT'S CORRECT.

Steve says MY GOODNESS. OKAY. THAT'S PRETTY HISTORIC.

Annamie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says AS LONG AS WE'RE ON THE TOPIC OF HISTORY HERE, LET ME ASK THE OTHER HALF OF THE EQUATION. WE HAVEN'T HAD AN ELECTED JEWISH MEMBER, IT WAS DAVID LEWIS OF THE NDP. IF YOU WERE TO WIN THE GREEN PARTY LEADERSHIP, WOULD THAT ASPECT OF THE STORY TO BE IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Annamie says OF COURSE. THESE ARE ALL PARTS OF MY IDENTITY. MY EXPERIENCE AND WHAT I OFFER AS A GREEN PARTY OF CANADA LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE, THEY'RE ALL INFORMED BY THOSE EXPERIENCES. YOU KNOW, ON BOTH SIDES OF MY FAMILY, WE HAVE A HISTORY OF, YOU KNOW, OPPRESSION, A HISTORY OF LOSS OF... REALLY, WE'RE HAVING TO FIGHT FOR OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE... THESE ARE VALUES THAT WE PASS ALONG TO OUR KIDS. THESE ARE VALUES THAT I BRING TO MY PUBLIC POLICY WORK. SO ABSOLUTELY. I KNOW THAT IT WOULD BE VERY MEANINGFUL FOR YET ANOTHER COMMUNITY TO HAVE, YOU KNOW, A MEMBER OF THAT COMMUNITY LEADING A FEDERAL PARTY, AND AS I SAID, IT'S GOOD FOR ALL CANADIANS. IT JUST YIELDS BETTER RESULTS AND IT GETS YOUNG PEOPLE OUT THE DOOR TO VOTE. AND WE REALLY HAVE TO BE THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATION OF VOTERS AS WELL.

Steve says ANNAMIE LET ME ASK YOU FINALLY THE OBVIOUS QUESTION: GLEN MURRAY HAS A HELL OF A LOT MORE PROFILE THAN YOU DO. THERE'S ANOTHER CANDIDATE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WHO THINKS HE'S GOING TO WIN THIS THING.

Annamie says MM-HMM.

Steve says CAN YOU WIN THIS THING...

Annamie says THEY'RE BOTH WRONG. EVERY CANDIDATE... IT'S REALLY UP TO THEM TO DEFINE THEMSELVES AND TO EXPLAIN TO GREEN PARTY MEMBERS AND THOSE WHO WE'RE HOPING WILL JOIN THE GREEN PARTY OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WHY THEY'RE BEST SUITED TO BE THE LEADER. IN MY CASE, I BELIEVE THAT GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE I BRING, HAVING BEEN ABROAD FOR SO MANY YEARS AND WORKING ON BEHALF OF CANADIANS AND ON BEHALF OF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY IS A REAL DIFFERENCE MAKER. MY TRACK RECORD OF WORKING TOWARDS DIVERSITY IN POLITICAL REPRESENTATION, PARTICULARLY FOR A PARTY THAT HAS SO MUCH WORK TO DO IN THAT AREA, IS VERY MEANINGFUL, AND THEN MY COMMITMENT, MORE THAN ANYTHING, TO A VISION OF THE GREEN PARTY AS THE MOST DIVERSE DEMOCRATIC AND DARING PARTY IN CANADIAN POLITICS IS ONE THAT I THINK IS QUITE SPECIAL AS WELL. IT'S A VERY UNPRECEDENTED TIME, STEVE. AND SO HAVING SOMEONE THAT CAN BRING KNOWLEDGE JUST FROM THIS COUNTRY BUT FROM ABROAD AND THAT REALLY HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF CREATING SOLUTIONS FOR PUBLIC POLICY CHALLENGES THAT ARE RELATIVELY NOVEL IS VERY IMPORTANT. AND SO I THINK THAT THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WILL APPEAL TO ME AND I'M HOPING THAT GREEN PARTY MEMBERS WILL AGREE.

Steve says I GUESS I SHOULD SAY FOR THE RECORD, SINCE WE DO HAVE CONSERVATIVES WHO WATCH THIS PROGRAM, AMAZINGLY ENOUGH THERE IS ANOTHER BLACK WOMAN RUNNING FOR ANOTHER MAJOR PARTY LEADERSHIP POSITION RIGHT NOW, LESLIE LEWIS FOR THE CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP. HAVE YOU MET HER YET?

Annamie says I HAVE NOT. I HAVE NOT. BUT CERTAINLY IT'S VERY EXCITING TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN CANADA TO HAVE TWO WOMEN, STRONG AND VERY WELL QUALIFIED WOMEN, RUNNING FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN FEDERAL PARTIES. YOU KNOW, I'M HOPING... CERTAINLY IN MY CASE I'M WORKING VERY HARD TO GET THROUGH AND I'M WATCHING HER RACE WITH INTEREST. WE HAVE SOME VERY SIGNIFICANT POLICY DIFFERENCES. I CAN'T SAY THAT WE ALIGN REALLY AT ALL IN TERMS OF POLICY. BUT, AGAIN, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE THOSE DIVERSE VOICES REPRESENTED AND TO SEE AN EMINENTLY QUALIFIED PERSON PRESENTING THEMSELVES FOR THAT ROLE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says WE WISH YOU WELL ON THE CAMPAIGN AND WE THANK YOU FOR COMING ON TO TVO TONIGHT TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR VIEWERS. THANK YOU, ANNAMIE PAUL.

Annamie says THANK YOU SO MUCH, IT WAS A REAL PLEASURE, STEVE. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ONE.

Watch: Annamie Paul: Vying to Lead the Federal Greens